PhD candidate in Neurobiology and Metabolic Research (f/m/x)


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We are Helmholtz Munich. In a rapidly changing world, we discover breakthrough solutions for better health.

Our research is focused within the areas of metabolic health/diabetes, environmental health, molecular targets and therapies, cell programming and repair, bioengineering, and computational health. We particularly excel in the fields of basic research, bioengineering, artificial intelligence, and technological development.

Through this research, we build the foundations for medical innovation. Together with our partners, we seek to accelerate the transfer of our research, so that laboratory ideas can reach society and improve people’s quality of life at the fastest rate possible.

This is what drives us. Why not join us and make a difference?

The Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity, and Vascular Research (Helmholtz-Institut für Metabolismus-, Adipositas- und Gefäßforschung, HI-MAG) at the University of Leipzig aims to uncover the molecular underpinnings of adipose tissue dysfunction. This effort is directed towards enabling precision therapies for obesity and its co-morbidities, such as metabolic and vascular disturbances, through the utilization of a clinical translational approach. The institute is part of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center and maintains close connections with the metabolic research activities conducted by the Faculty of Medicine of Leipzig University.

The Jais lab’s research is focused on providing detailed insights into neurocircuitries activated by palatable, energy-dense food. We are using molecular and systems neuroscience approaches to define the anatomical distribution, molecular signature and neurocircuitry architecture of these neurons. Furthermore, we want to investigate the longitudinal effects governed by these neurons to determine their physiological relevance and their role in the deregulation of whole-body energy and metabolic homeostasis. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel noninvasive therapeutic interventions for obesity and other prevalent metabolic disorders.

Prof. Matthias Tschöp (Dr. Med., Dr. hc.), CEO of Helmholtz Munich:

"We believe that excellent research requires a range of different perspectives. Diverse teams reach better solutions and are more innovative in their research topics.

Establishing our Diversity Management Strategy demonstrates our commitment to ensuring an appreciative company culture based on mutual respect. We are also implementing diversity-sensitive processes throughout our whole organization."

Your tasks

We invite applications for a fully funded PhD candidate position at the Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research (HI-MAG), located in Leipzig. The project aims to unravel the complex neurobiological mechanisms that link brain function with metabolic outcomes. Through this research, the candidate will explore how certain neural pathways influence whole-body metabolism and contribute to the overall energy homeostasis.

  • Participate in research activities focusing on the neural control of metabolism and adipose tissue function
  • Conduct experimental research using advanced techniques such as chemogenetics, intracranial injections, and metabolic profiling of mouse models
  • Analyze genetic and physiological data from both animal models and human samples
  • Collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to integrate findings and contribute to high-impact publications
  • Present research findings at national and international scientific meetings

Your profile

  • Exceptional students holding a Master’s degree in a relevant field and a strong interest in neuroscience and obesity research
  • Demonstrable experience in molecular biology techniques, animal models, or metabolic research
  • Outstanding motivation to participate in a competitive research program
  • Excellent English language proficiency, both written and spoken


  • Scientific Training: Helmholtz Munich Graduate School
  • Career counseling: Career Center for PhD candidates
  • Recreation: 30 days annual leave, flexi days, plus public holidays
  • Health Promotion: Sports, company doctor, mental health initiatives
  • International Staff Service: Support with the relocation and integration process in Germany

Since 2005, we hold the TOTAL E-QUALITY award for exemplary action in the sense of an equal-opportunity organizational culture.

Helmholtz Munich is actively committed to diversity and inclusion in practice and is sustainably committed to equality.

The Diversity Charter has set itself the goal of promoting diversity in the world of work. By signing the charter, we commit ourselves to create an appreciative working environment for all employees.


This position provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge whilst developing key professional experience, both of which will help you to make strides in your scientific career.

Remuneration and social security benefits are based on the German Collective Wage Agreement for Public-Sector Employees at Federal Level (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of receiving an allowance if the applicable conditions are met. The position has an (initial) fixed term of three years but may be extended under certain circumstances.

We are committed to promoting a culture of diversity and welcome applications from talented people regardless of gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical abilities, religion or age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference. If you have obtained a university degree abroad, we will require further documents from you regarding the comparability of your degree. Please request the Statement of Comparability for Foreign Higher Education Qualifications as early as possible.


Interested in applying?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Alexander Jais,, who will be happy to help.

Your application should include
    • CV
    • Cover letter
    • Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates
    • Contact details for at least two referees

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